General Information – St Vincent and the Grenadines

General Information – St Vincent and the Grenadines

Referred to as the jewel of the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a beautiful collection of 32 islands in the Lesser Antilles of the Atlantic Ocean, with St Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south.

St. Vincent, the largest island in the Grenadines, is a luscious, forest-covered retreat which surrounds the magnificent La Soufriere, a 4000ft active volcano.  The nation’s capital, Kingstown, is located on the south-western coast of the island and offers traditional Caribbean charm and hospitality.

Beyond St. Vincent, the popular tourist islands of Mustique and Bequia offer barefoot chic with some of the world’s most desired and exclusive resorts and retreats.

The weather is best described as tropical and days are usually sunny and bright. The most humid months are June to September, when temperatures average 30C (86F). The tourist season usually coincides with more comfortable temperatures between December and May, although the trade winds often bring with them a welcome breeze throughout the year.  The islands’ driest months are between January and May and July tends to bring the wet weather. As with all Caribbean climates, there are hurricanes that pass through the islands, although these tend to follow a trail to the north of the Grenadines.

The recently completed Argyle International airport means that the islands are now connected to major transportation hubs. Direct flights to the islands can be found from North America. If you’re flying from Europe you can transfer to the island via regional carriers such as Mustique Airways or LIAT from most Caribbean islands including Antigua, Barbados, Grenada or St Lucia.

English is the official language of the Grenadines, although French and Portuguese speakers can be found across the islands.

The islands’ chief source of income comes from the tourism industry. The islands’ prominence as filming locations for blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have broadcast their beauty to the world, ensuring their popularity as a breathtaking holiday destination.

Visitors to the islands should be aware that the official currency is Eastern Caribbean Dollars (ECD), which are accepted in the majority of countries in the Eastern Caribbean. Please be aware that cards are accepted in major hotels, businesses and restaurants, but smaller, local establishments may not have the facilities to accept card payments yet. For those holidaying on the islands, there is a 10% government tax added to hotel stays on top of VAT charged at 15%.

If you’re coming from the UK, when you arrive in the Grenadines you will need to put your clock back 4 hours in order to truly be on Caribbean time! There are no daylight savings time changes to worry about.

For those wishing to explore the Grenadines by car, you will be required purchase a temporary license which lasts for 6 months and supply a copy of a domestic driving license. You will need to drive on the left in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines have an independent parliament based upon the British system of government. The Queen is represented by a Governor General. The laws of the islands follow those of most Westernized countries and legal systems. Importantly, tourists should know that public nudity is illegal across the Grenadines and swimsuits should not be worn in towns, public areas and places of business. Please be aware that it is also illegal to wear camouflage clothing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Recent developments in infrastructure mean that connectivity across the islands is as fast and reliable as being at home. The majority of the area is covered by mobile phone signal through national suppliers and most hotels, shops and restaurants offer their customers free Wi-Fi with a local password. You should check your own network provider and tariff for charges prior to arrival.

To call St Vincent and The Grenadines from another country, you’ll need to use the country code 1-784.

Bank Account Requirements (Business)

Requirement for opening and Updating of Business, Companies, Societies and Groups Account

For Registered entities:

Companies: – Certificate of Incorporation/ Registration, Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association/ by-laws and Notice of Change of Directors, Share allotment, Business plan/projections (for new companies), audited financials/ six months bank statement on account, certificate of good standing (for existing companies)

Businesses: – Certificate of Registration and Notice of Beneficial Owner(s), Application for certificate of registration, Business plan/projections

Churches/ Societies/ Groups: -Act of Incorporation / Certificate of Registration, Minutes from meeting stating the decision was made to open an account.

If the entity is subsidiary of another, bigger entity a letter must be provided granting the sub-entity permission to open an account.

If minutes aren’t provided/ if the minutes don’t state the instructions stated below then a letter must be provided with the instruction. The letter or minutes must state the following information:

  • The type of account to be opened (i.e. savings, chequing or fixed deposit or safe deposit box).
  • The purpose for which the account is opened.
  • A list of the signatories and their capacity within the Company/entity /Church etc…
  • How the account should be operated (i.e. any two to sign, or treasurer and any one etc….)

Each beneficial owner of the company must provide the following:

  • ID Card and Passport/ Driver’s License card (2 pieces of ID required)
  • Utility bill to verify residential address (i.e. water/ electricity/cable / phone) or any other document for address verification in customer’s name.
  • Financial details for example 6 months’ bank statements and financials
  • Social security/ tax payer information

Each signatory/ officer and director of the company must provide the following:

  • ID card and Passport/ Driver’s License card (2 pieces of ID required)
  • Utility bill to verify residential address (i.e. water/ electricity/cable / phone) or any other document for address verification in customer’s name.
  • Social security/ tax payer information
Updated December 2018 from Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ltd.
Bank Account Requirements (Personal)

Requirements for opening/ reactivation/ update of an account

Presentation of two (2) forms of picture identification:

  • ID card and/ passport and/ driver’s license card

Presentation of document to verify one’s residential address:

  • Electricity bill OR
  • Water bill OR
  • Cable bill OR
  • Phone bill OR
  • Bank Statement OR
  • Driver’s License

Please note that the bill must be in your name; if this is not the case then the person whose name the bill is in must present a letter to state that it is your address or you may get a Notary Public to state that you live at that address.

Presentation of documents to verify one’s income:

  • A recent pay-slip
  • A recent job letter
  • Must be more than six (6) months old and they must quote your salary
  • Copy of latest Tax Return
  • Proof of pension (if applicable)
  • Any other valid and official document to serve as proof of income/ earnings
  • Social Security card
  • Six months’ bank statements (must not be more than six (6) months old)

NB All forms and documents prepared away from the bank’s offices must be notarized. Foreign citizens must show their interest in SVG, reason for requiring an account in this state.

Buying a house is a pretty serious investment of money, a long-term one.  This being said, renting can be kept as a better option for some people, depending on their specific circumstances.  The current interest rates are incredible. A 30-year FHA mortgage can be locked in at a rate of around 3.5%.  Since the interest rates are so small, it actually can be more viable to pay a mortgage tomorrow, than continuing paying your monthly rent today… But before you decide, ask yourself few critical things.  One of the most important questions to consider is the length you plan on staying in a home, if you were to purchase.  If the answer is a couple of years, then renting out is a smarter decision for sure!

Property Buying Guide

Grenadines Investments are specialists in locating unique investment properties across the Grenadines. Buying properties around the world should be straightforward with clear information and expert guidance. This guide will provide an introduction to investing and buying properties in the Grenadines. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific questions you may have.

Where are the best places to invest?

With one of the most exclusive real estate markets in the Caribbean, the Grenadines offers exclusivity and luxury across its many charming towns, villages and islands. Bequia, the second largest island in the Grenadines, is the current hotspot for investment and is renowned for barefoot chic and laidback luxury. The fashionable Mustique, famous for high-end resorts, has some of the most distinct and luxurious properties in the world.

There are no restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing real estate in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Government officials, business owners and locals welcome dedicated investment in the islands.

What is the process for buying property?

For those wishing to buy a property, estate or land in the Grenadines (except Canouan and Mustique) it is essential to apply for an Alien Land Holiday License (ALHL) which can cost between $10,000 and $105,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars, depending on the value of the property. ALHLs can be applied for through a lawyer and require identification and references.

A deposit of 10% is paid upon exchange of contracts with the balance paid upon the license being awarded. Buyers are also required to pay stamp duty on purchases, typically 5% of the purchase price, upon completion of sale. Legal fees for property transactions in the Grenadines are applied and usually work out to approximately 1% of the purchase price.

The purchase process can take around 6 months to complete, with the ALHL issued within 3 or 4 months. Completion of purchases usually happens 4 to 6 weeks after issue of the license.

Government Taxes

Annual property taxes in the Grenadines are applied to all owners of land and property. However, there are many tax advantages while living in the Caribbean, with no inheritance or capital gains tax.


The three islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique make up this beautiful island chain that sits to the south of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to the north of Trinidad and Tobago. Grenada, also known as the Spice Island, is one of the smallest independent countries in the world.

Grenada is the picture of paradise and enjoys average temperatures of 27˚C as well as benefiting from cooling trade winds, creating a comfortable and enjoyable climate. The popular dry season runs between January and May, when the islands’ tourist population reaches its peak. The rainy season starts in June and lasts until December, although the rainy season in this part of Caribbean tends to be less severe than in other regions, with showers lasting one hour on average and severe hurricanes an increasing rarity.

The island’s rich and fertile volcanic soil means that everything seems to grow on Grenada. With an all-round planting season, the island’s produce has ensured it is globally renowned for the quality of its mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cocoa; the sweet scents sweep invitingly across the island breeze, hence the appropriate nickname of the Spice Island! Despite the rich offerings grown on the island, spice exporting has not been the dominant force of the local economy since the opening of the international airport in 1985. Today, Grenada is as renowned for tourism as it is for fruits and spices, with over 168,000 visitors relaxing and unwinding in the tropical surroundings in 2018; drawn to the miles of spectacular palm-lined beaches and exclusive 5-star resorts. The island’s unique terrain of mountainous volcanic peaks, lakes and craters, vibrant rainforest, mangrove plantations, white sandy beaches and turquoise ocean make Grenada as close to paradise as you can imagine.

The island’s historic capital, St. George’s, on the southwestern coast of Grenada, is an explosion of colour and excitement. Once a historic, bustling port, it is now a thriving city with picturesque traditional architecture and a diverse mix of businesses that cater to every taste and budget. The city is a lively Caribbean affair, capturing the warm welcoming natures of the 108,000 Grenadians who call the island home.

The Grenadian government has recently decided to offer a citizenship by investment program (CBI) in order to attract sustainable investment to the island and protect the unique environment of Grenada. Those looking to invest in Grenada through purchasing land or property will benefit from no tax on foreign income, inheritance, gifts or capital gains, making it an attractive proposition. Of course, the opportunity to permanently reside in this tropical paradise with Grenadian citizenship, as well as enjoying the stunning natural beauty and becoming part of a vibrant, friendly community, makes the offer too good to refuse.

Nevis (St Kitts and Nevis)

St Kitts and Nevis are two stunning islands in the Lesser Antilles, located in the eastern region of the Caribbean Sea.

The almost circular island of Nevis lies 3 kilometres south east of Saint Kitts and can be reached via an ocean channel known as The Narrows.  At the heart of the island is Nevis Peak, an imposing and spectacular volcano that boasts a soaring summit of 3232ft. With fertile volcanic soil, the island is covered with luscious tropical flora and a range of stunning indigenous flowers. Nevis is uniquely surrounded by a rich and majestic coral reef and a colourful collection of marine life that is unrivalled in the Caribbean, attracting snorkellers and scuba divers of all levels of ability into the crystal waters. For those wishing to stay on terra firma, Nevis offers luxury resorts and hotels that effortlessly combine the island’s colonial planation heritage with modern sophistication.

The island enjoys balmy average temperatures of 30˚C during the summer months, although averages throughout the winter still reach an impressive 27˚C. Like many islands in the Caribbean, the rainy season tends to be between May and November, while there is a risk of hurricanes between August and October.

The island’s economy is based on its thriving tourism industry, which saw visitor numbers grow by 7% between 2017 and 2018, with nearly 150,000 passengers passing through the island’s RLB International Airport. To add to this, the island offers two impressive cruise piers at Port Zante, capable of accommodating two Oasis class cruise ships bringing thousands of visitors to the island every year. Beyond tourism, the island cultivates and exports a range of fruits and vegetables (especially coconuts) that make their way on to plates around the world. The government and authorities of St Kitts and Nevis are promoting sustainable tourism in a bid to showcase the natural beauty of the islands without negatively impacting the eco system and unique character of the islands. The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program (CBI) offers permanent citizenship to those looking to invest in the sustainable development of the islands, either through a minimum donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund or through investment in land or property. With government incentives such as tax breaks on overseas income and capital, moving to this stunning and secluded paradise, as well as safeguarding the islands’ beauty for future generations, could be easier than you think.

St Kitts and Nevis have both been independent members of the British Commonwealth since 1983, with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State. As with many islands in the Caribbean, English is the principle language, although there are rich and diverse dialects among the friendly and welcoming local population who encourage visitors to engage in the local tongue for a truly authentic experience.


Often confused as a single destination with neighbouring Trinidad, Tobago is a unique Caribbean island with its own vibrant identity that charms hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Located just 100 kilometres off the coast of Venezuela, this tiny island gem measures 40 kilometres miles in length and just 11 kilometres from east to west, yet what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in natural charm and wonder. Enjoying an average daily temperature of 29˚C, yet benefiting from cooling winds, makes this island the perfect holiday destination. With crystal clear waters that are warmer than most baths and exquisite white sandy beaches it’s not hard to see the appeal of Tobagan life.

Covered by one of the oldest rainforests on the planet, Tobago’s landscape is magnificently dramatic, with volcanic rocks, deep valleys and luscious, deep greens of the tropical canopy dominating the panorama. Much of the island is undisturbed by modernisation despite the island experiencing a population boom that made it one of the fastest-growing countries in the Caribbean.

With the recent influx in visitors, 375,000 tourists making the trip to Trinidad and Tobago in 2018, the economy has turned its attention to tourism and offers a first-class array of luxurious resorts and hotels that blend in to the natural environment, making the experience feel authentic and less mainstream than some of the bigger resorts on traditionally popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Most of the tourist developments have taken place on the southwest of the island around Pigeon Point and Crown Point, however, responsible planning and development by the local authorities has safeguarded the tropical splendour and culture of the island. The rise in sustainable ecotourism has benefited the island’s economy. With so many untouched bays and coves, miles of jungle treks, beautiful coral reefs and the remote St Giles Island to north of Tobago, there is a sense that Tobago is untouched and raw, as nature intended.


The island is renowned for its excellent diving sites and is home to majestic coral reefs as well as three sunken wrecks primed for exploration. There is an abundance of marine life, such as rays, turtles and stunningly coloured tropical fish, that highlight the natural significance of this part of the Caribbean and underline its ecological significance. However, for those looking for recreation on dry land, Tobago has a growing reputation for its sublime golf courses, incorporating much of the island’s tropical greenery, that have hosted senior World and European tours.

Home to just over 61,000 people, the island feels quiet and relaxed, making it a popular tropical destination for those wishing to avoid the crowds. Tobago’s capital, Scarborough, on the western coast is home to approximately 18,000 people, making it the most densely populated area of the island. The port of Scarborough is a docking location for Caribbean cruise ships as well as being home to the ferry that connects Tobago and neighbouring Trinidad.

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